Do You Know the Rules of the Road Better Than the DMV Examiner?

Zoe Samuel

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

You don't always need to know the rules of the road in order to survive. You just need to have good instincts and a general sense of what's likely to be legal, as well as a penchant for always having all your paperwork on you - and be pretty darn good at actually operating your vehicle. However, unless you're driving almost exclusively on rural roads where you never encounter another driver - or indeed a pedestrian with fewer than four legs - then you really do need to know the rules in order to stay safe, keep others safe and not get on the wrong side of the law.

We all have to pass the test in order to get a license in the first place, but how well do you remember the actual rules? Muscle memory and instinct are probably driving you around most of the time, after all. Could you recall the precise rules well enough to teach them to someone else? Could you take that test again today and pass it? Or do you mostly just rely on common sense, habits, and the fact that most of your fellow drivers have some idea what's going on? Let's find out!

What color lines separate lanes traveling in opposite directions?

White means lanes go the same way. Yellow is the opposite.

Who has legal right of way between a pedestrian and a vehicle?

Unless otherwise designated, the pedestrian has right of way. That's just the rule.

How many states ban use of a cellphone handset to talk while driving?

Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands join 15 states in banning this dangerous activity!

What shape is a yield sign?

Yield signs are yellow triangles with black letters.

At a four-way stop sign, who has right of way?

The person with right of way is the person on the right. If there is no one on your right, you have it!

What is level 5 autonomy?

Level 5 autonomy means fully automatic. Your car is probably a 1.

When you wish to turn left and you face an oncoming car turning left from the opposite direction, which side of them should you pass?

Think Ghostbusters - you never cross the streams! Unless you have to.

What is an HOV lane?

You can go in this lane if you have more than one person in the car. People pay students to ride with them to get around this.

What shape is a stop sign?

Stop signs are red and white and they are octagonal in shape.

What does it mean when a driver flashes their headlights?

It really depends on the state, culture, locality, etc.

What is a typical speed limit for a city center?

Technically it's 35mph but if you've managed to hit that in rush hour Los Angeles, you are a miracle worker.

Can you ever go through a red light?

Some states have right on red but many don't.

What does a black X in a yellow circle mean?

This sign means there is a railroad intersection coming up.

What records should you have in your vehicle at all times?

You should carry everything except ownership papers. The latter will just help people steal your car.

What is a turnpike?

A turnpike means you have to pay for that road as you go, instead of through taxes.

What is the intersection called where the cars go round and round and then out the right exit?

All these words are in use in the USA.

What is the minimum driving age?

It varies by state but at the federal level, it's 16.

What is the maximum speed limit in most states?

This is typical but some states go higher or lower.

How old do you have to be to rent a car?

Some companies offer higher prices for "underage" drivers which means anyone under 25.

Who has right of way at a crossroads with no stop sign and no lights?

It's whoever got there first - but don't defend your right of way at the cost of your life, OK?

Can you do a U-turn on a dual carriageway?

You can't do this without a lane - technically. You probably have, though.

To which side of a vehicle should you pass?

When you drive on the right, you pass to the left.

What should you do to your car before you get in it?

Check those tires! If one of them is bad, you want to know before you get in.

What is a typical speed limit for a school crossing?

15 mph is the usual speed in a school zone.

What should you do first if you are pulled over by the police, once you have stopped your vehicle?

Put your hands clearly visible on the wheel.

If you are driving a car with several occupants, what should you do before you turn on the car?

Your passengers can talk on a phone, fiddle with the radio, eat - lots of things you can't do - but they absolutely cannot be in a car without being strapped in. It's the law, plus it's just stupid.

When was the first speed limit set in the USA?

It was before America, too. Speed limits are older than you might think!

How many states ban texting and driving?

39 states have banned this. The other 11 probably don't have very good cell reception.

In which state is it specifically prohibited to drive while blindfolded?

It's not clear why they made this law, but they did. It's a little scary, really.

Is it OK to have an open drink in your car?

Technically, you should not have open drinks, alcoholic or otherwise. Passengers can have a drink but they should keep it closed when not drinking it.

Where can children and babies sit in the car?

Babies and children should sit on a booster or child seat. This is the law in many states now.

What do you do if you see a first responder behind you with their blue lights on?

You should pull over and stop to let the ambulance, police or firefighters go past.

What is the legal limit for blood alcohol content?

You should probably just abstain if you're driving, but if you insist on drinking, this level is typically reached at 1 pint or two small glasses of wine.

What percentage of Americans commute by car?

This is why the traffic is so bad. You're not imagining it.

What is the highest speed limit in the USA?

You find it in parts of Texas, solely on highways.

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